Colors. We all have our favorites. But when it comes to creating a color palette for your brand or choosing the right colors for a design project it’s not about what you like. It’s about what’s right for your brand. And this can be hard if you’re not used to working with colors. But even if you’re not a designer you can create a color palette for your brand by using the right tools.
What you need to do before creating a color palette
Slow down the horses. Before you can make any color choices you need to do a little preparation. There are a couple of aspects you need to consider in order to pick the best fitting colors for your brand.
The first step is to come up with your brand words. Make a list of your brand values and the words you want people to associate with your brand. This will help you to pick colors which align with your words.
Related post: How to define your brand values
You also have to know your target audience and which colors you need to attract them. Define your target audience before making color choices. Find out as much as you can about who they are and what they like.
Related post: How to define your target audience
Start thinking if your brand as a person. Describe your brand’s character traits and style. It’ll help you to pick colors which align with your brand’s personality.
Related post: The 3 Faces of your brand personality
Create a mood board
A mood board is nothing else than a collection of inspiration which is in line with your brand. Your brand words can help you to search for the right images. The mood board will give you an idea of which colors will work for your brand.
Related post: How to create a mood board for your brand
All these steps are necessary to give you a clear picture of your brand and the style which aligns with it. Every design choice depends on this. You want your colors to speak for your brand.
What you need to know about colors
Colors are not only depending on personal taste. A color can say a lot about your brand if you do it right. To understand this better and use it to your advantage you need to learn a bit about colors and how they work.
Every color has a different meaning. You need to make sure this meaning aligns with your brand and the message you want to spread. Before you fix yourself on any color make sure to look up what this color stands for.
Blue is a color many businesses pick because it stands for stability, trust, and loyalty. What do you want your brand to stand for? This is why you’ve defined your brand words, target audience, and personality first. To know exactly what you want your brand colors to say.
If you have a bit of a clue what the color wheel looks like it can definitely help you to build a complete color palette. Color strategies are like guidelines for combining colors. They’re based on where a color is positioned on the color wheel.
Complementary colors are colors which lie opposite of each other on the color wheel. Choosing complementary colors means you have a combination with lots of contrast.
But there are many different strategies. Make sure to check out the post below to find out more.
Related post: 3 color strategies to define your brand colors
Color palette creation tools
Now, let’s get into creating your color palette by using the following tools. If you’ve done the preparational steps these tools will help you to choose your main brand colors and expand those into a full palette.
Canva is a great tool if you want to extract a color from an image. If you collected some inspiration before starting you can upload an image and find the prominent colors inside.
But Canva can even do more for you. If you go to this link here and type in your color you can get more information. Learn more about its meaning and usage. Canva will also show you some example palettes.
Adobe has a color wheel you can access to find the right color combinations. You can use the color strategies I’ve explained above to find the right match.
First select which strategy you want to use (analogous, monochromatic, complementary…). Then pick your main color. You will see the colors which are a good fit.
You also have the possibility, similar to Canva, to upload an image and find matching colors like this.
ColorExplorer has lots of different features. You can pick colors from a photo or find the perfect color match. What makes this tool stand out is the possibility of creating color palettes. Once you’ve found your perfect colors, save them in a color palette and export to use with Adobe Creative Cloud tools.
Coolors is a fantastic tool and easy to use. You can browse thousands of color palettes to get inspired. Or you go to the “generate” tab and start by typing in your first color choice. You can lock this color to ensure it stays in place. Hit “space” and see which colors the generator comes up with.
I hope you will try some of these tools to create your own color palette. If you have any other tools you want to share, do so in the comments.